Watching CBS news last night, it was, in the beginning, a refreshing change not to see any political advertisements for one Prop or another, or to see Obama and Romney character bashing. Instead, I was treated to, what became, a never-ending barrage of those dreaded infomercials! What began as a canter and moved into a troy, ended up being a full sprint to the end, and end that I was eternally grateful to see! The incredible thing about these infomercials is that they are all the same. High pitched sales voices, often screaming the virtues of each useless product they extol, followed by a brief demonstration, always careful to show the ease of which each product works and the simplicity of its design and use, and then, and then after all of this hype we wait for the price and BUT WAIT>>>>>>
The ‘but wait’ is the hook, the freebie, the add-on, the extra, the part we need to listen carefully to before we decide that our lives would be completely unfulfilled unless at that very precise moment, after we hear the greatest deal on the planet, we don’t all rush to pick up our phones, get on our computers and order immediately!
‘But wait, call now and we will double the offer…”
“But wait, call now and we will make you into the chef, the cleaner, the chopper, the gardener, the parent, the drinker, the musician, you always wanted to be!”
“But wait, you still need to pay extra shipping and handling, even though we are giving you all this stuff free!”
“But wait, do you think we are stupid? You MUST call within ten minutes or all our product will be gone!” Yeah, right!
‘But wait, am I not the most annoying voice you have ever heard?”
And so it goes on. Last night in particular, between the hour of 6 PM and 6.30 PM, if I was the true consumer that America suggests I might be, I could have purchased, a top that goes on every bottle to make it into a drinks dispenser, a hose that shrinks up to nothing and expands to 75 feet, depending on whether it was in use or not, a tortilla shell baker tray, to make perfect mexican food and a gadget to make me hang pictures in a perfectly straight and regimented fashion. All things that I, a typical American, cannot live without. The only issue being, what would I do with all the extra’s they were going to give me for nothing? In other words, just like most US restaurant chains, too much is not always a good thing. And digressing for a moment, and on the subject of food. There is a local restaurant that is advertising the following. “Come in tonight, buy dinner and we will give you, free of charge, another dinner, to take home and bake for tomorrow night’s meal” The issue I have with that is, that most people see that as a superb deal, I however see it as complete gluttony. Why not half the price and give me a meal that’s really inexpensive and portion sizes that will not make me overly obese? Back to the infomercials….
Have you ever bought any of these advertised useless products? None of them ever work! That’s why they opened stores called “As Seen On TV” They cannot sell the products on TV, so retails stores have become another outlet to try to pass of useless gadgets to we, the most believing audience in the world. What President said, “Never underestimate what the American people will buy” or words to that effect? Who ever he was, I am voting for him! He got it absolutely right.
Although it was nice not to hear from doctors, lawyers, teachers and firemen, how each Prop was going to affect me or not, it was a nightmare being subjected to this continual sales pitch, for the full half hour of CBS’s news broadcast. What one would I prefer? Neither. I loved the BBC, when I lived in the UK. No commercials! I love XM radio here in the US, where most channels have no commercials. TIVO or DVR is perfect, especially when you can FF the commercials, but, and it’s a sad but, sometimes you do actually want to sit down and watch live TV, and certainly today, with the election, it can be compelling. Do me a favor though, just don’t offer me anything I can’t live without! The fact of the matter is, I can live without anything, even TV! Our friend in the image above passed away a couple of years ago, but it was he who really coined the phrase, BUT WAIT, in his own exuberant, loud and lovable manner. Without him, we would be a completely different society, and probably one that would be gadget free! Not there’s a thought, but wait……………